The term “cloud” first emerged in computer and tech developer circles in the early 1990s. Cut to the 2010s, everyone know what the cloud can do and the benefits it has brought not only to the business world, but to individuals as well. Simply put, the cloud describes a third-party system that can house data-based and digital information on remote servers.
Since its inception, cloud computing today has become more affordable, streamlined and widespread. It has enables companies small and large to greatly reduce costs on the storage of internal digital data. This includes content archives, accounting information, and many other sensitive categories of data.
Let’s delve deeper into how the cloud has changed industries such as business, finance and healthcare.
An Overview of the Cloud
During the last two decades in which the use of the cloud has become commonplace, there are many notable developments for developers, providers and of course, end users. With the recent development of big data i.e., globally circulating massive streams of digital information, the cloud has become an increasingly crucial component of worldwide internet infrastructure.
Before we take a closer look at the most recent updates in the world of cloud computing and how it has affected different industries, let’s go over how the cloud actually works.
The three basic forms of cloud computing services include the following:
Third-party servers that serve as an extension of the company’s internal network or IT server
Customized or standardized remote public or commercial applications
A provider’s capacity to archive all types of company data at storage locations across the web
Most importantly, the cloud is imminently scalable. This means that it can effortlessly accommodate enormous amounts of data on demand. It can even accommodate as little as users require at any given time. It offers flexibility and reduced costs for small and medium sized companies for whom the storage, security and maintenance costs would be worth a fortune if the functions remained in-house.
With the wide range of cloud services now available online, here are a some examples of how large corporations are using them:
- Google Applications: Software as a service (SaaS)
- Amazon EC2: Virtual IT
- Apple MobileMe: Network storage
Recently, Google rolled out support packages for its Google Cloud Platform such as Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Users ranging from SMEs to large corporations can choose the service size that is best suited to their storage or processing requirements. Another example is the HP Cloud launched by Hewlett Packard as part of its HP Cloud Initiative. While one is for Global System Integrators (GSIs), the other one leans towards Value Added Resellers (VARs). With these new cloud services, companies can avail more flexibility of scale, as well as performance options for online use.
Thanks to pioneering companies such as Oracle who initially came up with the idea of cloud computing nearly twenty years ago digital experts, IT professionals and consumers around the world can now seamlessly store, access and manage reams of data for a fraction of the cost.
Cloud Computing in Banking and Fintech
Cloud computing creates an opportunity for bankers to connect with their users directly. Digital services maintain the customer relations anywhere and anytime through cloud computing. With the help of the internet, many services like storing, managing and accessing the information have become easier for both the bankers and the consumers. Cloud computing is an easy technique to deploy and integrate with all the services of the bank system which decreases the time and effort of the user.
With technology advancements, unprecedented changes have been taking place in all industries. The financial sector, particularly, has been experiencing significant evolution. Regulatory upheaval and the new approach to supervising financial services and institutions have given rise to financial technology start-ups in the recent past. Here’s where cloud technology helps with features such as speed to market and scalability.
The evolution of cloud computing enabled the banks to focus more on the customer-centric model and digitalizing the trading & wealth. Cloud computing creates a multi-channel relationship with the customers at every aspect of the service. It helps in storing, backup and recovering huge data of the company. Not only the storing of the data, various other services like delivering the software, transferring the data, Updating and recovering of data is very easy through cloud computing technology. Cloud computing also increases the turnover of the banks by integrating cost-effective cloud solutions.
The banking industry needs to address the ever-growing data input demands. There is a need to explore the systems that do not rely on like-system migration so that infrastructure can be modified without any disruption. Banks have been slow in adopting cloud computing as there are apprehensions regarding reliability, regulatory and security risks. But slowly, cloud computing is changing the way consumers interact with banks.
Some of the big names in the FinTech cloud computing sector Amazon Web Services, Google Virtual Cloud, Microsoft Azure and IBM Bluemix, among others.
Cloud Computing and Business
In today’s world, cloud computing has fundamentally changed the way we work and communicate. In the business world, this improved level of communication has led to all sorts of new expectations—good and bad. Here’s what has changed the most:
1. Work never stops
Since everything is accessible, all the time, employees are finding it more and more difficult to separate work from everyday life. Especially with how integrated our mobile phones have become—both into our careers and our social lives—it’s the cloud that asks employees to constantly be on alert. If someone needs a file, or a quick edit, it should be no problem. Why? Because you simply pull the document up on your phone, swipe a few times, and then send it off.
While this might seem largely unobtrusive, the truth is the cloud is asking team members to constantly be connected to their work. The cloud has made remote working exponentially easier. But it has also required a different level of commitment to work responsibilities.
2. Everything is More Efficient
When you’re constantly dealing with documents and files being uploaded and downloaded, you’re never quite sure if what you’re looking at is the latest version. And as much as every team would like to believe they are responsible enough to keep things organized, human error is inevitable.
3. More Security
While it’s safe to say cloud storage and computing has made life infinitely more convenient for Internet users, safety itself is becoming more and more of a priority every single day.
IT departments and security specialists now have to work harder than ever to ensure data in the cloud remains secure. Events like the Sony hack, all the way to the latest scandal between Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, have shown us just how much data is stored on the cloud—and ultimately, how susceptible we are to having our private data exposed.
This is not to say that the cloud isn’t secure. Companies all over the world rely on cloud computing and storage on a daily, if not second-by-second basis. But to say the business world has the cloud all figured out would be a faulty statement. For as ingrained as the cloud has become in our working lives, there is still a significant amount of work to be done to protect all our data.
4. Lean Overhead Costs
For small, medium, and even large-scale organizations, the cost of housing everything internally can add up quickly. Between general maintenance and upkeep, to the cost of servers that host your data, doing all of that internally becomes an entire project in itself. Most companies don’t have that kind of budget.
On the cloud, however, these barriers to entry are reduced to a frictionless experience. Companies can use these cloud providers to perform all their necessary duties without needing to build any soft of internal infrastructure. Since they’re saving so much money, while simultaneously improving their own efficiencies, they are able to move faster, iterate, and innovate more effectively—ultimately allowing for all companies to flourish.
SEE ALSO: The Future of Cloud Computing Today
Cloud Computing and Healthcare
Nowadays, cloud technology is a part of everyday life. From backing up your phone to saving photos, the cloud offers storage and accessibility with just the click of a button. Yet cloud technology is a feature that provides benefits outside of personal use. With 83 percent of healthcare organizations using cloud-based applications, cloud technology is here to stay. Cloud technology is changing the healthcare system and healthcare informatics, and the impact has both advantages and disadvantages.
Efficient and Integrated Patient Care
Previously, doctors relied upon faxed or mailed paper charts when sharing information about patients between practices. Cloud technology offers a single access point to patient information, allowing multiple doctors to view lab results or consult notes on patients. Collaborations regarding treatment plans happen with a single click, and the transfer of this information occurs instantly. Rather than waiting on another practice to send over patient results, doctors can spend more time on patient care and treatment options.
Better Data Management
As more healthcare facilities adopt electronic health records, a wealth of data is accumulating in the field of public health metrics. Cloud technology will allow researchers to mine this data and more accurately assess the health of the general public. The more data that researchers can collect, the more opportunities to spot trends in disease and potentially avoid public health crises. This method of mining data will also provide insight on ways to save money on healthcare.
However, this technology is not going anywhere, and more and more healthcare systems are adopting this method. Proper education and demonstration of functionality will allow resistant doctors to see the benefits of cloud technology.
Cloud technology is not a perfect solution to manage patient care and data in the healthcare system, yet this technology provides patients and doctors with accessibility to information that can improve patient care. The cloud also offers a great opportunity to use patient data on a healthcare informatics scale to draw conclusions about public health and allow users to quickly and efficiently manage personal information. Hurdles exist with implementing new technology and the threat of data breaches, but with proper education and the right framework, healthcare systems can take advantage of this rapidly growing and useful technology.
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